As present initiatives not adequate

Senator John O’Mahony, raised the issue in the Seanad today , as this highly invasive plant has become a major problem rapidly spreading across Ireland, along watercourses, transport routes and unmaintained land.   He called on different agencies like the OPW, Waterways Ireland , Iarnrod Eireann to work together .  All state land within each agency needs to be surveyed for the presence of invasive plants  - especially land that might be required for building in the next ten years and state property that will be sold like old HSE  buildings or closed down Garda stations

Speaking in the Seanad he said  “This plant is one of the worst invasive species because its root system and rapid growth can damage concrete foundations and buildings.

My own county of Mayo has a huge problem with this species.  I am aware of a scheme to deal with some national routes – but other areas affected are not being treated – so overall – its not effective.   The National Park  in Ballycroy in Mayo will be overrun with Japanese knotweed if there is not an overall strategy.

 I believe that the Transport Infrastructure Ireland and  each county  council needs to start a full treatment program of all roads but I am told that its piece meal at present and a piece meal approach  will not work “ we need a NATIONAL STRATEGY to deal with this problem . 

In her reply Minister Humpreys stated that while “there is no national eradication plan in place at present there are a number of initiatives in place across Government departments and agencies, and local authorities that support measures  to tackle invasive alien species”.

Senator O’Mahony acknowledged that but said in his response to the Minister that it was not good enough and “ was like trying to keep the tide out with a hayfork”.

9 November 2017